The Farm

The Farm
Artist Joan Miró
Year 1921–1922
Medium Oil on canvas
Location National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Dimensions 48.7 in × 55.6 in
123.8 cm × 141.3 cm
Joan Miró Famous Artwork
The Tilled Field, 1924
The Farm, 1921–1922
Dona i Ocell, 1983
Still Life with Old Shoe, 1937
Portrait of Vincent Nubiola, 1917
Hands flying off toward the constellations, 1974
Complete Works

The Farm by Spanish artist Joan Miró is a priceless masterpiece. Miró considered his oil painting to be among the most significant works of his life. The creation, completed in 1922, depicts his family farm in a realistic manner. However, he also included elements of surrealism, or in other terms, modernism.

The Scenery

Some have called the painting an “inventory” of everything that was on the farm – the variety of animals kept, the vegetables grown, the buildings, tools, gardens, soil and terraces – all against a background of a marvelous blue sky.

A large Eucalyptus tree dominates the center of the painting. Beneath the blue sky, which sports a small pale sun, the garden landscape is dominated by brownish earth tones. The upright rectangular face of a home dwelling is depicted on the left. A kind of barn – more like a multi-purpose tool-and-animal shed – braces the right side of the work. We can see directly inside the barn, where a variety of animals dwell.

Extreme Effort

Miró’s farm was located in the Tarragon region of Spain. It was owned by his family, beginning in 1911, and the artist himself spent many years living and working there, raising crops and keeping livestock.

Miró said that the level of work he put into completing this image was extreme – the painting was of great personal importance to him. The painting entailed nine months of agonizing work before he was satisfied with the result. He compared this nine months of painting to the nine months it takes to give birth to a human baby. He said he painted and erased numerous times, and that he also destroyed many versions.

A Masterpiece

There are almost no art critics who do not consider The Farm by Miró an exceptional masterpiece. Many have placed it on the same level of importance among Spanish paintings as Picasso’s Guernika. The Farm was purchased by none other than Ernest Hemingway, who paid 5,000 francs for it. He gave it as a gift to his fourth wife, Mary, who in turn donated it to the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., where it remains on display today.

One response to “The Farm”

  1. Kate says:

    You are correct that Hemingway’s fourth wife, Mary, donated it to the National Gallery in Washington, but Hemingway originally bought the painting in Paris, as a birthday present to his first wife, Hadley.

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